Even if you have no idea how to juice vegetables and fruits, you may know something about all of the marvelous health benefits that come from juicing raw, whole foods.
There are a number of important health benefits that come from drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juice. Smoothies can provide many of the same benefits, but making smoothies in a blender or food processor will not remove hard-to-digest fibers and pulps from fruits and vegetables, so it may be harder to absorb nutrients from them.
Many studies demonstrate the benefits of juicing and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables:
- The National Cancer Institute acknowledges that a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is an important factor in preventing cancer.
- Juicing removes the indigestible fibers and pulp from fruits and vegetables, making the nutrients easier for the body to take in and the product easier to consume.
- It takes only a few minutes to learn how to juice vegetables and fruits, and a juicer is a one-time investment that should continue to work for many years.
- There are very few negative side effects from drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juice and many positive effects. Juicing fruits and vegetables condenses the nutrients and vitamins from many fresh foods into a small serving. In contrast, it might be difficult to eat enough raw, whole fruits and vegetables daily to get the same amount of nutrients.
Choosing a Juicer
Before you can juice fruits and vegetables, you need to get a juicer. A blender, food processor, or citrus juicer will not work in the same way as an electric juicer will. An electric juicer removes indigestible pulp and fiber from raw fruits and vegetables and automatically strains the final product so that you don't have to. Juicers can be expensive, with some running costs of more than $300. More affordable juicers are available, but they may not perform quite as well or have as many features as pricier models. Before you purchase a juicer, it's a good idea to read reviews of current models and consider a few factors, such as:
- Ease of cleaning
- Planned frequency of use
When you have a better idea of what you want in a machine, you'll be able to make a purchase that fits your lifestyle and your budget.
How to Juice Vegetables and Fruits
Most juicers are very straightforward. Simply place fruits and vegetables in the chute or feed tube and let the machine do its work in condensing the items. When it's finished, you'll be able to extract juice from a pour spout on the machine. The instructions for almost all juicers vary a bit, so read through the manual of your juicer before using it and make sure you're familiar with all of its features and operations. Most manuals also include a troubleshooting section which can help if you run into issues with using your juicer.
It's important to thoroughly clean all fruits and vegetables before you feed them to the machine to avoid getting harmful bacteria, dirt, or other foreign substances in your juice. Fruits such as oranges and watermelons should be peeled prior to juicing, and berries should have their hard, leafy tops removed. You can choose to peel apples, peppers, or other fruits or vegetables before juicing them, too, but keep in mind that many healthful nutrients are located near the surfaces of these foods.
When you finish using your juicer, clean it thoroughly and promptly so it's ready for the next use.